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Afraid I might infect family

Question: 

Hie. I am a 26 year old man. I had a wet dream (nocturnal emission) last night. I woke up at 05:06 am. And I noticed some semen (was still wet) on my bed when I woke up..I touched some of it with my hand and then went to sleep..I was woken up by my little sister. She usually comes in my room and I give her transport money for school. She then brought some change and handed it to me on that hand that had touched my semen..I'm certain her fingers touched that hand..She then got her bag and grabbed some snacks and went to school. I then immediately examined my hand it was completely dry. Is it possible that, if I have HIV, the viral particles from the dried semen could transmit from my hand to her fingers then maybe into her eyes when she rubs her eyes or mouth when she eats the snacks? I'm so worried and so scared I will kill myself if anything bad happens because of me.

I find myself always worrying about having HIV..I had a negligible risk encounter last year in September where I fingered a girlfriend of mine who was on her period. I used a latex glove for the fingering but am scared that maybe something went wrong (e.g. microscopic holes) and the viral particles entered through peeling skin on my finger (no blood, no redness or pain)...I also french kissed a woman who bit me slightly on the lip as we kissed. I learnt from this forum it was no risk assuming there was no blood..She has a very dodgy past and apparently sleeps around. I fingered a 3rd woman in November (with a latex glove again). From all the fingering encounters the body fluids from the woman stayed on the outside of the glove I checked..For the first fingering I washed my hands 25 minutes after I had taken them off when I got home and the 2nd fingering immediately afterwards.

So now I am so scared of infecting my family..I always worry, about sharing water bottles, touching door handles after leaving the toilet in fear that they may be exposed to my body fluids. I am so scared and no longer have peace in my life..Every symptom that comes up I try and correlate it to HIV its driving me crazy. What should I do? I am scared to test because if I'm positive I will face discrimination and I will never be accepted. I live in Zimbabwe and all this is killing me...Please help me

Answer: 

Hi there,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from your question you were asking about the risk of HIV transmission to your family members through casual contact with your dried bodily fluids, or otherwise indirect contact with inanimate objects that you have touched, such as money or door handles.

Be advised that your family is at No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario) of acquiring HIV through social and casual contact with you or any other individual. Acts such as social kissing, hugging, shaking hands, sharing toilette, and sharing dishes are all avenues in which HIV is not transmitted. This means, in your case, sharing water bottles, touching toilet handles, and even the hand to hand contact you have had with your sister (or any other individuals) all remain as No Risk events.

Official HIV transmission guidelines indicate that the top 3 avenues for transmission are:

  • Mother to Child

  • Unprotected Sex

  • Sharing of Needles

Please consider our HIV Transmission Equation for any further questions regarding the nature of HIV transmission, as it offers an insightful and clear portrayal of circumstances which may lead to HIV acquisition.

It is important that any one person takes initiative in knowing their HIV status. Regular HIV testing can provide all individuals with the opportunity to protect themselves and others from HIV transmission through adequate prevention methods such as ARV (Antiretroviral Drug Treatment), PrEP, PEP, condom use & clean needle use, etc. HIV Stigma continues to be one of the driving forces behind HIV transmission worldwide. Here is some additional information regarding this subject that you may find useful in your daily life: Let's Stop HIV Together

Recommendation:There are no evidence or no documented cases of transmission refer to Physician for more personalized answers.

All the best,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Cody